Ohio opts for $3B plan over turnpike privatization

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Leaders from the state of Ohio are working to generate $3 billion for highway construction while avoiding both layoffs and leasing of the state’s turnpike, Ohio’s Department of Transportation announced Thursday, Dec. 13.

The so-called Ohio Jobs and Transportation Plan calls for issuance of bonds by the Ohio Turnpike Commission that are backed by future toll revenues — an attempt to raise half of the needed funds, $1.5 billion. 

The other $1.5 billion, the state hopes, will come from matching local and federal funds. 

The plan itself comes on the heels of a year-long study by the Ohio Turnpike, and Gov. John Kasich, ODOT Director Jerry Wray, Turnpike Director Rick Hodges and a few others have been on a two-day tour in the state to show what ODOT is calling “a first-of-its-kind plan.”